Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Gray

Before she became Hellcat, Patsy Walker was Beast's only friend during a time of crisis.

After Hank McCoy first transformed into his furry form, he suffered amnesia and act out in a violent state of confusion (Amazing Adventures #11). At this time, the Beast's fur was gray and his misanthropic disposition resembled that of the Hulk (who coincidentally had gray skin during his debut in Incredible Hulk #1).

When newlywed Patsy (Walker) Baxter found Beast wounded on her doorstep, she was well aware that authorities pegged Beast as a new menace (unrecognizable as the X-Man he once was). Believing that any creature deserved compassion, Patsy harbored Beast long enough for him to recover (Amazing Adventures #15).

As Patsy watched over the sleeping Beast, he murmured that his real name was Hank McCoy and uttered other details about his past. In front of Patsy's eyes, Beast's fur changed from gray to black (suggesting that his mental state was linked to his appearance at the time).

When Beast awoke. Patsy told him all she had overheard. With Beast's memory now intact, Patsy kept his true identity a secret even from her husband.

But Patsy's motives didn't remain altruistic. Once Beast gained acclaim as an Avenger (and his fur turned blue), Patsy needled Beast to use his connections to make her a superhero too.

As Beast now opted to make his true identity publicly known, Patsy embraced the opportunity to develop her own double-identity as Hellcat (#144).

Amazing Adventures. Vol. 2. No. 15. November 1972. "Murder in Mid-Air!" Steve Englehart (scripter), Tom Sutton, Frank Giacoia, John Tartag (artists), Jean Izzo (letterer), Roy Thomas (editor).

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